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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tacoma in Pierce County, Washington — The American West (Northwest)
 

Browns Point Light Station

 
 
Browns Point Light Station Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., August 3, 2021
1. Browns Point Light Station Marker
Inscription.  
Documented history of Puget Sound began in 1792, when Captain George Vancouver, sailing for King George III of England, explored and charted this expansive waterway. He named the large inland waterway Puget Sound for his first mate, Peter Puget. Vancouver, leaving his ship the Discovery, took a long boat down the eastern shoreline of the Sound. He stopped to have lunch with local natives, and then rounded a point of land to discover a spacious bay and large mountain beyond, which he named for British Admiral Peter Rainier. It is believed by historians that the place of Vancouver's noted lunch was near Browns Point.

Years later in 1841, Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, a ship captain for the U.S. Navy, was exploring the West Coast and Puget Sound. He charted and named this site Point Harris after a sail maker on his ship. In 1877, Lieutenant Ambrose Wyckoff of the U.S. Navy surveyed the point area and renamed it Point Brown. Finally, in 1903, the name was officially changed to Browns Point by the Department of Labor and Commerce.

This region is the traditional homeland of the Puyallup people. Browns Point was
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originally part of the Puyallup Tribal Reservation. In 1886 the reservation was divided into family allotments, and this area was deeded to tribal members Joe Douette and Jerry Meeker. Meeker was a prominent local resident, and gave his Native name, La-Hal-Da, to a street that runs through Browns Point.

The first light signal, placed in 1887, was a lantern on a post that helped guide ships and boats into the bay. In 1901, the United States Lighthouse Service purchased this property when it was determined that a lighthouse and fog signal were necessary for safety on the increasingly busy waterway.

A wooden lighthouse and keeper's house were built in 1903. The first light keeper, Oscar Brown, arrived at Browns Point in 1903. He settled his farm animals into existing outbuildings, and soon built more solid structures. Water was initially obtained from springs on the property, and a water tank behind the house collected rainwater. A mud flat existed between the lighthouse and the keeper's house. By the early 1930s this area had been filled in, creating a grassy landscape.

In 1939, all American lighthouses became the responsibility of the United States Coast Guard. Today, Metro Parks Tacoma and the Points NE Historical Society maintain the property for public, use, as Browns Point Lighthouse Park. The Browns Point Light Station is listed on the National Register
Browns Point Light Station Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., August 3, 2021
2. Browns Point Light Station Marker
The lighthouse was wrapped for ongoing renovation
of Historic Places, and also the Washington State and Pierce County Historic Registers.

[Photo captions, clockwise from bottom left, read]
• A 1792 sketch of the bay and mountain from Capt. Vancouver's voyage.

• Captain George Vancouver

• Browns Point was originally named Point Harris in 1841, after a sailmaker on Lieutenant Wilke's [sic] ship.

• Lieutenant Charles Wilkes

• Lieutenant Ambrose Wyckoff

• In 1888 the point was surveyed and renamed Point Brown
 
Erected by Points NE Historical Society.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public WorkCommunicationsParks & Recreational AreasWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1792.
 
Location. 47° 18.361′ N, 122° 26.624′ W. Marker is in Tacoma, Washington, in Pierce County. Marker is at Browns Point Lighthouse Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 201 Tulalip Street NE, Tacoma WA 98422, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Generator Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Captain George Vancouver at Browns Point (within shouting distance of this marker); Boat House and Oil House (within shouting distance of this marker); The Browns Point Light Keeper's Cottage
Browns Point Light Station Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., August 3, 2021
3. Browns Point Light Station Marker
Looking east, with salmon fishers have little luck that day
(within shouting distance of this marker); Light Keeper's Cottage (within shouting distance of this marker); The Browns Point Lighthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Crew Quarters (within shouting distance of this marker); Bell and Pump House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tacoma.
 
Also see . . .
1. Browns Point Lighthouse Park. Metro Parks Tacoma website entry (Submitted on August 22, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.) 

2. Lighthouse Restoration Is Happening Now!. Points NE Historical Society website entry (Submitted on August 22, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.) 
 
Browns Point Light Station - after renovation image. Click for more information.
via Metro Parks Tacoma, unknown
4. Browns Point Light Station - after renovation
National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form
Click for more information.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 23, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 22, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 134 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 22, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   4. submitted on October 22, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.

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Mar. 4, 2024